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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  December 29, 2011 10:00pm-11:00pm EST

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what had been saved and indeed, bingo, toxic algae, they found it present in 79% of the plankton that the unfortunate 1971 drunk birds had eaten. so the sea birds that helped inspired the birds most likely ate anchovies that had eaten toxic al ji and in a toxic confusion they plunged themselves. that does it for us. i'm chrisç hayes in for raichr. we'll see tomorrow night. and sundays at 8:00 a.m. with my show. now it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. good night. u. the republican campaign to destroy the newest surgere rick santorum, is officially under
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way. >> i've been scrubbed and scoured. >> well, we've seen the surge in the latest poll. >> people know if there's anything out there it's tout there. >> i can argue with you about some of your -- >> i don't claim to be anything other than what i am. >> that would probably help you in the primary if you and i were in an argument this morning. >> rick santorum jumping 11 points in a new poll. >> he's picking up the lion's share of that support. >> don't let me help you win the caucus. >> i've got a strong consistent record. >> rick santorum has done the hard work. >> in two statewide elections running against strong candidates, i was able to win the state of pennsylvania. >> there's really one person who predicted this all along. you. >> the republican clown card. >> that has not been a dull year. that's for sure. >> i live a pretty boring life. >> i've been in the private sector. i know how jobs come and go and
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go and go. >> no more mystery about mitt's hopes in iowa. >> is it hard running for the president? >> and that's a darn good question, and the the answer is yes and no. >> they sound like great bullet points or bumper sticker -- >> i will use the skills i've learned to getç government outf our lives. >> prams sometimes people can be corporations. >> if you owe the bay $1,000, the bank owns you. if you owe the bank a million dollars, you own the bank. >> he needs to win iowa and win big if he wants to shut this thing down. he's in a sweet spot, according to this poll. >> i don't think why so angry. >> what about the new poll out today? >> less than 24 hours after rick santorum appeared in the top
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three of an iowa poll, he earned his first attack ad, court sesyf the rick perry campaign. who personally demanded more than $1 billion of earmarks in his 16 years in congress? jay from ames. >> rick santorum? >> right. santorum grabbed for a billion in earmarks until voters kicked him out of office in a landslide. name this. >> i've had a lot of earmarks. >> that's rick santorum. >> that's right, iowa. on taxes and spending. if rick santorum wins, you lose. >> rick santorum obviously decided today that the candidate that he should be trying to stop is ron paul. >> the problem with congressman paul chrks is the thing most people like about çhim, his bo economic plan and cutting the
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government are the things he has proven he's been incapable of rallying any support to do. he's passed one bill in 20 years. but the thing that he can do when the president has authority unilaterally is to actually pull our troops back. iowa needs to send a message. we want a candidate not in the dennis kucinich wing of running for president. >> michele bachmann is clinging to her campaign in iowa, no longer talking about what she'll do as president, but rather explaining why her iowa campaign chair kent sorensen, abruptly deflected to the ron paul campaign. >> clearly what that reflected was the nervousness on the part of the ron paul campaign that they were losing steam in iowa. they told all of our campaign that he was on board and got in his car and announced he was going with the ron paul campaign. he told me specifically that he
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was officered a great deal of money and that's why he was leaving. >> kent sorensen says it's not about the money. it's about stopping romney. >> i believe we're at a time when michelle is not going to win iowa. he came to my aid when i was in two tough battles. do not want mitt romney to be running for our nominee. i was never offered a nickel from the ron paul campaign. >> mitt romney whoç used to be afraid lest anyone think he care about the results of the iowa caucus is now so confident of victory in iowa that he will host a post caucus party at the hotel ft. des moines. romney's super pack restore our future continues to do the dirty work against newt gingrich.
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>> ever notice how some people make a lot of mistakes? >> i made a mistake. i've made mistakes at times. >> so far newt gingrich has admitted his mistakes or flipped on, teaming up with nancy pelosi, immigration, medicare, health care, iraq, attacking and more. >> i made a big mistake in the spring. >> haven't we had enough mistakes? >> the gingrich superpack, winning our future, is finding gingrich enemies everywhere. including at fox news. they put out this written statement today. george will might have fired the first shots in the wall street journal and national review might have answered the call. but the leader against newt gingrich is now clearly charles crowdhammer of fox news. c. edmond wright theorized
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perhaps krauthammer is a bit jealous. christina, it seems to me the big choice facing every campaign out there right now is who do i attack? rick perry has chosen to attack rick santorum, but the problem in thatç calculation is, isn'te helping mitt romney by attacking rick santorum? you can't attack swung and only help yourself. >> that's what the campaigns are deciding to do. i think really it's after christmas the candidates have just a couple of days left. so this is when it gets ugly. uk bee and romney went toe to toe and had a lot of friction in
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iowa in 2008. everyone has to have a frenemy. someone who is their rival today. if they don't reach the threshold in iowa on a cold tuesday night, they need a second choice candidate. maybe santorum and bachmann team up. perry will not lend supporters to anyone because he is saying i'm the antiestablishment guy. >> the free media events are over. the debates. newt gingrich thought he would participate in a donald trump debate but that's not happening. what can a candidate like gingrich who doesn't have that money do now that those moments for getting off the great one liner have passed.ç
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>> your point is well taken. now they've all spent effectively weeks helping mitt romney. every time they do something it tends to make mitt romney look more and more like the one contender in the republican field who is actually a potential president. he now has the money to spend. he's on the air. it's to waz in and it be poised for a victory in iowa. should he achieve that and it's awfully hard to see how they get any traction going forward. >> you point out in your piece in vanity fair that in a certain way, what romney has been up against all year is the one liner. there is no more perennial or
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perilous reality than the planned, canned, not always grand one-liner as this year's republican primary has reminded the world. gingrich and romney themselves have been notably less successful in finding the phrase to sum up their cause. we went through the 9-9-9 era of the campaign. a candidacy took flight on something that republican voter ls could easily grasp and was easily thrown out in one line forms during debate. through hasn't been a dramatic moment when he said, i'mç payi for the microphone or he said, where is the beef, or something that is really caught fire. and i think it's an interesting reality. this campaign has existed really in the media. in all the many debates.
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but not the the retail politicking we had gotten used to in iowa and new hampshire. so at some level it's interesting that more one liners had not stuck. it's a testament to the fact these guys are not that good at it. >> christina and todd, let's look at john huntsman strategy. his pass is aimed away from -- i don't know how to do this metaphor exactly, but it involves ron paul. h doesn't strike me as a good idea. let's take a look at him. >> there are some pretty racy and racist things if you see these letters. >> one author suggests 95% of black men in washington, d.c. are criminals. >> boy, it sure burns me to have a national holiday for the procommunist blend for martin luther king. >> these stoojs don't scare me. threats or no threats. i blame the coming race war in ][içymó big cities.
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>> saying in 1993 the israelis were responsible for the bombing of -- well, christine, he's aiming at it new ham( voters, but in the iowa caucus, does that play as an ad for or against ron paul? >> i don't think iowans are going to pay tension to that. that's what huntsman is trying to do in new hampshire. he's thinking that let's say paul wins the iowa caucus. that will tarnish romney to then drop him in new hampshire. new hampshire is huntsman one place. i was predicting paul would be the surgeer in new hampshire. this iowa surge goes hand in hand with that. i went to several events in new hampshire in the fall.
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he has a lot of support there. his message plays well with the voters. and so i think huntsman sees okay. i can't let ron paul come in second if i want to make any stand at all. so i'm going to take him down. >> ron paul does have some problems. i want to read to what what they said. they said about ron paul. ron paul is a dangerous man. while his domestic libertarian views are quite attractive to some voters fed up with politics as usual, it's paul's position on issues of national security that are truly dangerous. it's about time new hampshire voters showed him the door. it seems to me that the new hampshire ron paul supporter may be at the fringe. appealable to some other camps. but who is the most likely beneficiary of defections from ronç paul's camp?
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i think you have to say huntsman or really anybody. let's not forget the new hampshire model is live free or die. liz libertarian stance has an appeal in that way there. but han has proven itself to be famously impervious to whatever happens in iowa. so i think it will be interesting to watch. and christina's point is well taken that new hampshire is really his only hope at this point. of all the candidates remaining in the field he must be wondering why he hasn't been able to get more traction avenue all the on paper qualifications. it hasn't worked for him. >> thank you both for joining me tonight. >> thank you. >> thank you, lawrence. >> coming up -- iowa caucusgoers are still asking birther questions of the candidates. maybe that's because caucusgoers are not just different from you and me, they're different from
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most of the people in iowa. that's next. and why the first question asked of republican candidates in a california presidential primary debate should be about porn stars. that's in the rewrite. ou're lik,
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there's an old saying in the banking world, which is if -- if you owe the bank $1,000, the bank owns you. if you yoe the bank a million dollars, you own the bank.
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in 2008 a record number of republican voters turned out to
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caucus in iowa. a huge number. recordç number. that number was so 120,000 people. that's just 4% of the population of iowa. which, by the way, is a state that barack obama then won in 2008 in the general election by ten points. in 2008 the iowa republican caucusgoers picked mike huckabee as their choice for president, huckabee dropped out two months later. in 1980, iowa republicans picked republican george h.w. bush over ronald reagan who eventually won the nomination and the presidency. in 1998 they picked bob dole over george h.w. bush and mr. bush went onto become the republican nominee and win the presidency. iowa's track record at the picking the nominee is at best
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spotty. joining me now is steve kornacki, news editor. we pay a lot of attention to the election. we must. it's our duty. it's the first. i want to look at a caucusgoer and the kind of questions they are getting now. here is someone who will be at the caucus asking newt gingrich a question about president obama. >> according to the constitution, those that are running for office must be a citizen of the united states. why is mr. obama not have to prove his citizenship as he's going to a& these other countries besides leading our country? let me answer this. i thought you were going to ask if donald trump had citizenship. >> no. no chance. no chance.
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>> all i can report is the state of hawaii has certified that he was born there. this is one of the issues where, it's a fact. he is the president of the united states. on a factual level, citizenship is an issue. he is the president. >> i believe we just saw newt gingrich's final moment. we also saw why the iowa caucus pulls the republican party to the right, and often to positions too far right for them to negotiate a general election. >> well, yeah. it's a caucus system instead of a primary system. that will be disproportionately composed of the activists of the party. you add into that the interesting thing he showed historically is that george bush senior won the iowa caucuses in 1980.
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that kind of result for a candidate like george bush sr., who was from the liberal wing of the republican party, that's unthinkable because of what happened in the 1980s with the growth and emergence of their rights. so much that by 19 # 8 when bob dole won the caucuses, second place was pat roberts, aç te a televangelist. iowa has been a safe haven for the nominating process. the other story to consider is it used to be a lot more out of whack with the national republican party than it is now because the national republican party is slowly catching up. it's almost dominated by christian conservatives. >> it seems like the obama presidency is hoping for what most republicans are hoping for. anyone but romney. they have to hope that santorum
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or ron paul or somebody keeps rom kn romney out of the top of the results in iowa. >> anybody but romney and even really paul. i think their thinking right now is that, let's say ron paul wins the thing and edges out mitt romney, and then there's a big gap between romney, paul and everybody else. that still works out to romney's benefit. most people assume the republican party will go to war to stop him from getting the nomination, more than they're willing to go to the war to stop mitt romney. what the obama people really need right now is you need a clear sort of conservative alternative to emerge. whether it's santorum or perry or bachman. you need one of them, even gingrich to catch fire in the last few days, move up and maybe win this thing. then you'll have an extended process, i think. >> steve, thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> sure. >> coming up, chuck todd will join me from iowa where he's
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been spending time on the gingrich bus. he's ready to brief us on everything we need to know about the big dayç next week. and in the rewrite tonight. when the republican presidential campaign makes it to california, they've got a very hot issue waiting for them. it's going to be on the same ballot their names will be on. it's a proposition about pornography that will test how much the republican candidates believe all their anti-government, ain't regulation rants. this is lara. her morning begins with arthritis pain. that's a coffee and two pills. the afternoon tour begins with more pain and more pills. the evening guests arrive. back to sore knees. back to more pills. the day is done but hang on... her doctor recommended aleve. just 2 pills can keep arthritis pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is lara who chose 2 aleve and fewer pills for a day free of pain. [ female announcer ] get an aleve coupon in this sunday's paper.
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multi-policy discount. paperless discount. paid-in-full discount. [yawning] homeowner's discount. safe driver discount. chipmunk family reunion. someone stole the nuts. squirrel jail. justice! countless discounts. now that's progressive. call or click today. news for our final update for the year on the kind fund. this bills and delivers desks to kids in african schools. unicef has counted $351,626 in additional contributions. now, much of that is unicef
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catching up with the flood of online contributions that poured in over the christmas weekend. the total, we have raised this christmas season is now $1,469,639. and the total we've raised since beginning the program last year is $3,883,638. a jump of more than $350,000 in the last 24 hours of counting. that is enough, that total that we have now is enough to build an deliver nearly 81,000 desks to classrooms in malaui where most students and teachers until this program began have never seen a desk. over a million students are likely to use these desks in the years to come. i want to thank legendary
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columnist liz smith who included a personal note for her contribution. i want to let the final words you hear about theç fund come from you our viewers who leave me in awe of your kindness and generosity. i have two e-mails for you tonight. mr. o'donnell, i'm a social studies teacher. we're a small school. many of whom are from families in need. our district is poor but all of my kids have desks. in honor of my kids who accomplished a lot with little, i have purchased three desks and i am challenging every educator in america to do the same if they are able. we take care of kids, all kids. thank you for your work. thank you, jim. at $48 a desk, i know that's not an easy contribution on a public schoolteacher's salary.
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and finally this e-mail from stan. i'm a veteran of iraq and afghanistan and i spent eight years in the active duty army. sometimes when i get down about dismal job searches and the continuing problems i and many veterans encounter with budget cuts while on the gi bill and continuing physical and psychological problem fras the ongoing conflicted we served in, i remember that there are many people who do not have the opportunity of being born into the greatest country of the world dechlt spite budget cuts to education, our schools with a plentiful amount of desks to go with our classrooms. unlike these children who are sç eager to learn they are willing to sit on hard floors for hours. i gave what i can to the k.i.n.d. fund. i know the donations of so many good people will make a
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difference. coming up, chuck todd joins me from iowa to give us the state of play on the ground and to share with us some of the surprising responses he got on his interview with newt gingrich. and on the rewrite there will be a measure on the california ballot during the republican presidential primary that will test the republican candidates' belief in their anti-regulation, anti-tax rhetoric. that's coming up. ♪ [ male announcer ] it's easy to see what subaru owners care about. ♪ that's why we created the share the love event. get a great deal on a new subaru and 250 dollars goes to your choice of five charities.
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>> can you win the nomination without winning iowa? >> sure. historically it's happened over and over. but you -- >> you have to win either iowa or new hampshire, don't you feel like? >> win south carolina. everyone who has won south carolina has won the primary. every single one. if you looked at where we first
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put our biggest team, it's in south carolina. >> joining me is chief correspondent and host of the daily rundown, chuck todd. great interview with newt gingrich. but i want to get to ron paul and the guy the party is really worried about in iowa. you're at a ron paul event in atlantic, iowa. what do his supporters believe at this point? romney supporters believe their guy can be present. do ron paul supporters believe they're going to make a statement. do they believe they're going to nominate a candidate to win? >> these are statement folks. ifç you're looking for the devoted crowd, the dwoeded supporter, you're going to find that at a ron paul event. you're not going to find somebody that i interviewed today, for instance, that drove four hours to go see mitt romney
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you are going to find this young man who spent last night making 200 phone calls from his apartment in minneapolis to new hampshire. then he drove four hours today. he's got family that lives close out here in iowa. he drove four hours to catch a glimpse of somebody i wanted to do before i died, he said. you don't find that kind of supporter at a romney event, at a gingrich event, at a santorum event. it's a different vib with paul. two of the rallies today. i've seen plenty of these rallies on tape as we cover them tochlt hear ron paul himself. you know, he's being attacked for his stance on iran and then this anti-sort of noninterventionist policy that he has staid back in the debates. and when you go to the are rallies, that's the biggest thing. why ron paul? he's the one talking about -- and they'll mix in the debt
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message with the we've got to bring troops home message. it's a way to focus on america. chuck, then what is your sense among paul r supporters. how many of them wouldn't be republican voters if itç weren for paul? >> i did run into a woman who caucused for paul four years ago. voted for obama. caucusing for paul again. this time she said if it's obama-romney, i'll vote obama. i would rather see ron paul third party. you can tell the ting of disappointment. i ran into a pair amount of republican supporters but they
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feel as if the republican party their wing of the party is being ignored. the populism, it has a long tradition in the midwest. i think that's why ron paul will probably overperform where the republican party is wrrks his wing of the party is. a lot of the midwestern states. minnesota is a caucus state. he'll do well in those. when you get to the primaries like han that touches water, has a different view when it comes to the noninterventionist foreign policy. he's probably not going to do as well. >> it seems mitt romney is the only campaign with an easy choice of who to attack. they want to attack newt gingrich to eliminate any significant challengeziñri coms way. you see santorum attacking ron
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paul. that interested me the most in the sense that counthuntsman go afterç ron paul. can anybody pull supporters away from ron paul? >> on one hand i agree with you. yes, you're not pulling anybody away fm paul. what you are doing is capping them. paul is trying very much this campaign to become a mainstream choice inside the republican party. they handed out iowa family cookbooks for instance. and very much as a colleague of mine said it reminded me of the clean for jean. make sure you shave. we're more mainstream conservative republican than we get credit for.
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so that's one sense you get. don't be let paul grow. any growth he's taking away from you. but you bring up an interesting point. isn't it amazing, five days out, mitt romney is clearly the guy ahead in the polls in iowa. he's the guy being attacked the least. go figure. >> yeah. it's amazing. i want to get back to newt gingrich who we all thought we were going to be talking more about this week as he was surge i ing. you had great ride with him on the bus. you pick up things you can't get anywhere else. the feeling of where they think they are. on the gingrich campaign bus, does it feel like they're in a stall and not going to get there? >> on one çhand, yes. it's funny. i asked gingrich. i said how much of this are you elate that had you're in the game? he has every right to be. he said a lot of you -- even i
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didn't think i would be where i am. but he got the taste of it a couple weeks ago. now there's competitive juices here. now he wants to keep going. when i talked to our folks on the ground in south carolina, it's real. if there is one state, it is south carolina. and it's a good one. so you can see that being a last stand. but i'll tell you you go to the newt rallies, i went to a couple of them yesterday, and it was amazing how many people weren't with newt. they sort of liked him. but they said, we're kind of undecided. a couple of them volunteered the virginia ballot issue. saying is he really built for the long haul? can he really win the campaign because obama is going to be organized. not about romney. maybe he doesn't have it together. a lot of us think don't cover
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process. people don't care about process. these activists in iowa are paying attention. that had more impact on his k d candidacy than some of us realized. >> i was interested in his reaction to how his candidacy has been received by people who he thought would be supportive of him. listen to;hpá he told you about his surprise at the lack of support he got from former colleagues. >> i didn't expect people i had known for years to be as negative as they have been. >> no. go talk to them. chuck, you find out who your friends are in a presidential campaign. >> you do, and i think he did. that you can tell bothers him. he thought these were the ideological warriors with him.
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he wasn't just talking about the the former members of congress. whether the wall street journal editorial page or george wills. i think he's a lot of those conservative opinion elite in washington who he spent a lot of time with him and he thought they would be natural allies. >> chuck todd, thanks for the latest state of play. >> you got it, buddy. >> coming up, newt gingrich couldn't get enough signatures to get on the ballot in virginia. but the aids help foundation got more than enough signatures to place a proposition on the republican presidential primary ballot in california that will drive the republican presidential candidates crazy.
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it's just so great to be back on fox news. a network that both pays me and shows me the questions ahead of time. i just hope that tonight the lame stream media won't twist my words by repeating them verbatim. really... [ female announcer ] but this one was washed in downy. why spend a lot of money when you can just use downy? [ female announcer ] ultra downy with silktouch, it's an upgrade in a bottle. simple relief is here. introducing robitussin® nasal relief pills. the right relief for nasal a pill. ♪ new from robitussin®. relief made simple.
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it's very hard not to look at the recent polls and think the odds are very high i'm going to be the nominee. >> you know the 10,000 signatures that newt gipg rich failed to get in order to be on the ballot in virginia t state of virginia has a population of 7.9 million people. newt gingrich couldn't find 10,000 of them who twant to see his name on the ballot. the city where i am now, los angeles, has a population of half the state of virginia. and the people of los angeles produced 70,000 signatures, 30,000 more than needed to put a measure on the presidential prima primary ballot that would
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require actors who filmed porn to wear condoms. there's no clearer markers of the depth that the gingrich campaign has sunk to than the fact thatç there are more peop who want to protect the health of porn stars than there are people in the entire state of virginia who want the chance to vote for newt gingrich for president. but we should all hope the campaign can hang onto the june 5th primary and we hope the rest of the candidates can hang on all the way to california not just because a bitter long fight for the nomination is enormously helpful to the campaign but because if at least two candidates are left standing when the republican campaign comes to california the very first question i want to hear asked at the debate is are you
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in favor of porn stars being required to wear condoms? there is no better trick question for the republican candidates. and the measure that will be on the ballot in california with the republican candidates not only calls for regulating the wardrobes in porn films, but it imposes a fee. really it it's an -- it's a tax on porn producers to pay for government inspection of porn film sets to make sure the actors are complying with the newç government regulation. porn producers hate this thing. you would think anything that's bad for the porn business is something prudish candidates
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would want to -- i'm not going to say it. the problem for republicans is that this is a classic liberal big government in position of regulati regulation and taxation on small businesses republicans swear are already overregulated and overtaxed. it creates a new kind of government worker whose salary and benefits republicans would always be trying to cut. porn set condom inspectors. we know there's only one republican candidate who would have no problem with this question in a republican debate. ron paul would be vehemently opposed to the pay for the regulation. but where do the rest of the republican candidates go on this one? do they choose to make life tougher for porn producers.
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do they side with the aids health foundation that got the signatures to put this on the ballot? do"w3ok they rewrite it to incl exceptions for porn producers? do they oppose the tax on porn producers because government already taxes small businesses way too much in this country. or do they just stick with that principles? stick withç their anti-tax, anti-regulation principles and stand side by side with porn producers in the principle fight against condoms on porn sets. rick san tor um, meet steven hersh, the founder of vivid entertainment. possibly the most successful porn studio of all time. he can pour more money into your campaign than you can count.
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and you two have found something you can agree on. the only people who hate regulation even a little bit more than republican presidential candidates are porn producers.
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as the curtain falls on the year in politics it's time for a quick look back at the year in comedy. >> republican candidates held their eighth debate in new hampshire. and of course after every debate these guys get criticized. the front-runners have been putting out commercials. >> hello. i'm herman cain. former ceo of godfather's pizza. recently i unveiled a bold new
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tax plan called the 9-9-9 plan. ♪ 9-9-9 ♪ not quite 10 ♪ it's a tax plan for america ♪ courtesy of herman cain ♪ the black republican ♪ 9-9-9 >> it turns out that presidential candidate herman cain was accused of sexually harassing two women in the '90sç which explains his new campaign slogan, did somebody order a pizza with extra sausage? >> herman cain seemed to sense that his supporters needed something to lift their spirits, which is what led to herman cain saying the greatest nine words ever spoken by an american politician. >> i believe these words came from the pokemon movie.
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>> i was dispondant. i was losing all hope my would ever bring my joy again. and then. >> we're just confirming donald trump will moderate a republican debate on december 27th in des moines, iowa. >> thank you, jesus. sometimes when god closes a door, he opens a window. sometimes standing outside that window is a circus peanut wearing a badger. >> donald trump is a friend. he's my best friend. number one best greatest friend of all time. we race yachts. we trade mistresses. i call him trump card. he calls me cold beer. the guy is a boob. he looks like a tangelo had sex
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with an old dish rag. >> donald trump has decided to cancel his republican debate he was going to host later this weekend. the good news, he only has to tell two people. ayrñ newt gingrich says he's against gay marriage. that explains why it's the only type of marriage he hasn't tried yet. >> newt gingrich is now riding very high in the polls. yeah. he's the front-runner now, i believe. some polls have him as the front-runner by quite a margin. i'm surprised newt is doing so well because if you've seen him his campaign ads, his message, it isn't very positive. the america we know and love is a thing of the past. >> america, it's over. >> newt gingrich, 2012, it's over. >> the late night comedians get the last word of 2011. you can have the last word online at our


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